Fire Chief Magazine - End of an Era

Last week it was announced that, effective immediately, Penton Publishing would be shutting down Fire Chief Magazine. The magazine officially closed last Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. I was lucky to count FCM as one of my editorial clients, and beyond that, they were especially important to me as not only my longest magazine client, but the first published assignment of my career was in the March 2009 issue of Fire Chief Magazine (first image, below).

I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of FCM's final 4.5 years, and I feel like working with Fire Chief Magazine helped launch my editorial photography career. I have a few tearsheets and shoot outtakes from those 4.5 years below, with captions to describe the images.

My first image for Fire Chief Magazine from March 2009 and the first published editorial assignment of my career, the image shows Gilbert (AZ) FD's Ladder 253 driving down the left side of a busy road while responding to a drowning call. The image was intended to illustrate a fire apparatus responding code 3 for an article on safety.

From a large house fire in Mesa, AZ. in 2010, this image illustrated one of FCM's focus on communications articles.
My favorite cover shoot for Fire Chief Magazine was this April 2012 issue. The art director emailed me on Friday afternoon with a brief and a deadline of that same Monday. I thought the concept was great and I gladly accepted the challenge of making it work on such a tight deadline. I called the on-duty PIO cell phone for Phoenix FD and told the PIO what I needed. We set the shoot up for that Sunday morning at the fire academy and I had the finals uploaded by early Monday morning.

For FCM's annual Focus on Foam special, I arranged a series of shoots with Phoenix FD and Mesa FD. The one that ran as the cover shows a Phoenix firefighter laying foam in a training structure, with a red-gelled flash for the background.
An outtake from the 'superhero' cover, it was my favorite shot of the day.

The above two shots are outtakes from the Focus on Foam special cover.
Another Outtake from the Focus on Foam issue, Mesa FD's Foam 225 lays foam at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

There is a somewhat funny story behind that last photo of Mesa FD's Foam 225 at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It was the beginning of springtime in Phoenix, but that particular morning was unusually cold and cloudy, my assistant and I arrived at about 7am to set up the shot and it was maybe 40 degrees at that time.

My assistant and I placed the lights and I framed my shot. The firefighter in the ARFF truck was warming up the generators and positioning the two nozzles so that the bumper nozzle would go right over my right shoulder and the roof nozzle would pass over m head to my left. We worked out a few hand signals so I could indicate whether I wanted him to flow foam through the bumper nozzle (one finger) the roof nozzle (two fingers) or both nozzles (three fingers).

I held up one finger to test the lights back lighting the stream of water and I heard the generators spool up. What nobody knew until about a split second later was that the bumper nozzle was not set to 'stream' like it should have been, but to 'fog'. All I saw was a cloud of water overtaking me for the half-second it took to see what had happened and turn off the water. That half second was all it took though to be completely drenched for the remainder of the shoot, outside, in the windy 40 degree weather, lol.

I'm really going to miss working with Fire Chief Magazine, I hope the best for the staff as they move on to other things, and I'm grateful to have been a small piece of their illustrious 57 year history.



Popular Posts